Welcome to The Transit Coalition weekly
newsletter! Our organization participates in meetings
with key decision makers and community leaders and
our goal is to keep you informed on the latest developments
in the transportation scene across Southern California.
After a brief lull of gas prices at the pump, oil
futures are once
again climbing to near record levels. With a
oil pipeline in Alaska shutting down indefinitely,
California and the Pacific Northwest will be especially
hit hard. According to a recent survey, rising energy
prices are now significantly
affecting how businesses operate. Employers
nevertheless find it advantageous to continue reimbursing
employees for their gas as part of their efforts
to keep worthwhile talent from finding other jobs
closer to home while boosting employee morale. This,
however, is not stopping companies from encouraging
carpooling and telecommuting. Companies are not
the only ones concerned: Asphalt, being derived
from crude oil products, is becoming increasingly
expensive, and budgets
for road projects are spiraling out of control
as a result.
A recent report revealed that Americans are increasingly
annoyed at the driving experience. Road rage
and increased traffic are among the top sources
of driver dissatisfaction. Those in Los Angeles
should brace themselves for more annoyances: If
traffic during rush hour, you will pay as much
as $140 for the "privilege." If you operate
a "bandit" taxi, the City of Los Angeles
will fine you $1,000 and impound your vehicle. If
an RV in LA, you will not be able to park on
certain designated streets from 2 a.m. to 6 a.m.
Truckers may soon have it doubly hard, as an Inland
Empire official redoubles his efforts to push for
ban during daylight hours across Southern California.
Last week, Anaheim Mayor Curt Pringle, county supervisors
and the Orange County Transportation Authority reached
a tentative deal to build one of the largest
transit centers in Southern California. The City
of Anaheim and OCTA expect to buy 13.5
acres of land surrounding the Anaheim Metrolink/ Amtrak station at $32.5
million. The transit center will house the largest
bus terminal in the county and provide more track
space for a future high-speed rail system. A parking
garage and a mixed-use residential and retail complex
are also envisioned.
As a result of higher energy costs, public transit
agencies in California are raising their fares.
One-way fares on Sacramento Regional Transit buses
and trains will go up
to $2, while day passes will be sold at $5.
Come next month, Omnitrans passengers will pay
$1.25 for one-way fares and $3 for day passes.
Los Angeles Times readers took
exception to LA Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa's
to allow the public to ride transit for a whole
week at no cost.
But it isn't all bad: Santa Clarita Transit is installing
GPS system that will allow bus riders to know
when their bus should arrive. Back home, Metro embarked
on a major
expansion of its popular Freeway
Service Patrol. Los Angeles City Beat
writers Rebecca Epstein and Allison Milionis shared
their experiences as they explored public art
at Metro facilities.
The Southern California Association of Governments
continues their work on studying a proposed MagLev
service from West L.A. to Ontario Airport. One entity
that is bound to benefit from such a service is
Westfield Shoppingtown West Covina, the site of
a proposed MagLev station. Shopping center officials
propose to build an entirely new mall at the site.
West Covina Mayor Steve Herfert was among 20 dignitaries
who recently traveled to Shanghai, China, to ride
the existing MagLev service there. Herfert expressed
disillusionment at the numerous studies on the subject
with little action to show for it, but joined the
delegation on insistence of Westfield officials.
(Kinda makes you wonder why they don't do delegation
trips to study proven steel-on-steel rail systems
such as the TGVs in France or the
in Japan.) Meanwhile, China
continues to expand MagLev, with a new extension
to Hangzhou to be completed in 2010 and a test track
for a locally-developed MagLev train that uses permanent
(and locally manufactured) magnets for levitation.
Los Angeles Downtown News published a Dennis
Lytton op-ed on the
potential of Union Station to be more than just
a place to transfer trains. Many amenities that
are often taken for granted at other major train
stations across the nation and around the world,
such as restaurants, shopping and services, are
lacking at Union Station. According to Lytton, current
Station owner ProLogis, the entities using the train
station such as Metro, Metrolink and Amtrak, and
other private investors should bring such services
to the Station, while significantly upgrading electronic
signage in the process.
Here is a list of other recent developments:
August 2: The San Bernardino Associated Governments
two separate contracts to synchronize signals along
some of the Inland Empire's busiest thoroughfares.
The work will be split into two parts: 299 signals
will be reconfigured on major east-west arterials
paralleling the 10 and 60 Freeways. 294 more will
be reconfigured at other east-west, as well as several
north-south, arterials across the Inland Empire.
It will take between 6 and 12 months to complete
August 7: The City of Lancaster held the
first of four scheduled open houses to discuss the
city's General Plan, a
"blueprint" for growth over the next
25 years. Issues such as traffic, commuting, air
and water pollution, the need for new housing, urban
design, health and safety and protecting the environment
are covered at these meetings. The above article
lists additional dates and opportunities for residents
to have their say on this important matter.
Caltrans started a two-week
closure of State Highway Route 330 between Highland
and Running Springs as part of a 53-day project
to stabilize slopes on the mountain highway. The
slopes have been damaged by recent floods and the
road must be repaired so that the highway does not
wash away in a future storm.
Upcoming Events: Metro
San Gabriel Valley Governance Council: Tuesday,
August 8, 5 p.m., 3369 Santa Anita Ave. (near El
Monte bus station), El Monte. (
Public hearing on December bus line modifications
follows at 6 p.m.)
SCAG MagLev Task Force:
Thursday, August 10, 11:00 a.m. SCAG Offices, 818
W. Seventh St., 12th floor, Los Angeles. CANCELLED.
Gateway Cities Governance Council: Thursday,
August 10, 2 p.m., Gas Company ERC, 9240 Firestone
Bl., Downey. (
Public hearing on December bus line modifications
starts at 6 p.m.)
South Bay Governance Council and Public Hearing:
Friday, August 11, 9.30 a.m., Carson Community Center,
801 E. Carson St., Carson.
(Metrolink) Special Board Meeting: Friday, August
11, 10 a.m. Board Conference Room, 700 S. Flower
St., 25th floor, Los Angeles. (Regular Board meeting on Friday, August 25 CANCELLED.)
Transit Advocates: Saturday, August 12, 1 p.m.,
Angelus Plaza, Rm. 422, 255 S. Hill St., Los Angeles.
County Transportation Authority Board Public Hearing:
Monday, August 14, 9 a.m., Board Hearing Room, 600
S. Main St., Orange. The hearing will focus on upcoming
bus line modifications in Orange County, including
new seasonal weekend services and an Inland Empire-South
OC Coast express bus.
SCAG Goods Movement
Task Force: Wednesday, August
16, 9 a.m., SCAG Offices, 818 W. Seventh St., 12th
floor, Los Angeles. CANCELLED: Next meeting is on Wednesday, September 20.
San Fernando Valley Governance Council: Wednesday,
August 16, 6:30 p.m., Marvin Braude Constituent
Center, 6262 Van Nuys Bl., Van Nuys.
Committee Meetings: Wednesday, August 16 and
Thursday, August 17, Board Room, Metro Headquarters,
One Gateway Plaza (adjacent to Union Station), Los
and Programming Committee, Wednesday, August
16, 1 p.m.
and Budget Committee, Wednesday, August 16,
Management & Audit Committee, Thursday,
August 17, 9 a.m.
Committee, Thursday, August 17, 10:30 a.m.
Committee, Thursday, August 17, 12 noon.
Consider attending our monthly Transit
Coalition Dinner Meeting on Tuesday,
August 22 - 7 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. at Philippe
The Original, 1001 N. Alameda St. Los Angeles CA
90012. ( Map.)
We hope to see you there!
Meeting: Thursday, August 24, 9:30 a.m., Board
Room, Metro Headquarters, One Gateway Plaza (adjacent
to Union Station), Los Angeles.
County Transportation Authority Board Meeting:
Monday, August 28, 9 a.m., Board Hearing Room, 600
Main St., Orange.
Missed last week's newsletter? Read it here!
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welcome your thoughts and comments on our new electronic
newsletter. Please write us:
Bart Reed, Executive Director
Numan Parada, Communications Director
About The Transit Coalition:
The Transit Coalition is a 501[c](3) non-profit
whose goal is to increase Transit Options and Mobility
in Southern California by mobilizing citizens to
press for sensible public policy to grow our bus
and rail network.
As a grass roots group, we depend upon your contributions
to allow us to pursue our important work. Add yourself to our mailing list and
please donate to help us grow.
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